Print version ISSN 0044-5967On-line version ISSN 1809-4392
Acta Amaz. vol.9 no.3 Manaus Sept. 1979
The present paper emphasizes the importance of a thorough evaluation of Jari Florestal e Agropecuária Ltda. as a model for development in the Amazon. This large scale commercial, plantation and agriculture venture has been suggested recurrently by various Brazilian planners as an appropriate model for development of other areas in the region. Jari is undertaking enormous silvicultural projects using Gmelina arborea and Pinus caribaea in "terra firme" (high ground) areas, and a mechanized agriculture scheme with irrigated rice culture in "várzea" (floodplain) areas. Based on observations and interviews made during visits to those projects, three principal questions are identified which need to be studied in order to evaluate the applicability of Jari as a model for other places in the Amazon. The first question is whether projects of the Jari type would be economically healthy, in the sense of being good investments. Characteristics of Jari which would be hard to duplicate elsewhere would make it difficult to mount similar projects. Among other factors, the large initial investments required and the long period before the first returns are realized must also enter the calculations of potencial appliers of Jari as a model. The second question is whether Jari is indefinitely sustainable with an adequate economic return. Various factores are relevant, including soils, pests, and diseases. The third question concerns the possible environmental impacts of such projects. Information relevant to the various aspects of each question is summarized, and recommendations for lines of research are made to allow evaluation of whether or not the Jari Project is applicable as a model for development in other areas. The present paper makes it clear that the wisdom of applyng Jari as a model is still far from being demonstrated.